Beach bum

It’s been a longggg ‘n’ dreary week, so today I’ve put real life on hold to flock to the sun. It’s freezing out, but ahhh those beams of light! Those clouds and waves and snowy mountains! I saw an eagle chilling on a rock wall and heard the barks of a seal convention gathered on a bobbing buoy.

The parking lot is lined with folks sitting in cars, their engines off. Some gaze out with binoculars, some read, some take siestas(!). This beach/maritime culture is so new to me, and I’m so drawn to and intrigued by it.

Sometimes you’ve just got to do these things. To make the time. I’m lucky I can right now. Often I forget to take advantage. Today I’m not! I’m so content by the sea.

Happy weekend, friends.

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The perfect summer night

(*written somewhere high above Washington state, Aug. 31)

Last night was magic. We ate at an alfresco cantina, dining on deliciously fresh dishes presented in cookbook-ready perfection.

After dinner the car veered left, away from their house. They wouldn’t tell me where we were going  (my brother, I’m learning, is a huge lover of surprises). We passed through Fremont, then Ballard, still trucking…drifting farther farther farther west. A quick mystery stop at Fred Meyer, then we approached our destination. The clues started to come together.

We rounded the bend–past a fish ‘n’ chips shack, past a surf shop or two. The water came into sight, a dark, shiny surface catching bits of evaporating evening light. Fluorescent pink shards split the fractured sky into a rapidly evolving kaleidoscope. We landed our toes on soft sand just in time to watch evening fade to night, that sentimental and dazzling hour when darkness drops the curtain on another day.

On the serene sands, groups huddled around pits from which pyramids of flame peeked out. Down the length of the beach, glowing orange balls danced (whipped around by limber fire throwers). Our neighbors’ laughter and guitar strums lazily drifted down the beach, mingling with our pit’s happy chatter. The gentle waves lapped nearby. Sheer magic. Summer, as it should be.

“I hope you will go out and let stories happen to you, and that you will work them, water them with your blood and tears and your laughter till they bloom, till you yourself burst into bloom.”~Clarissa Pinkola Estés

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